City of Newcastle charging towards environmental legacy

31 Oct 2023

City of Newcastle is taking responsible action to reduce pollution by powering up electric alternatives for fuel-based vehicles and equipment as part of its landmark Newcastle Environment Strategy.

The Strategy, which was adopted at tonight's Council meeting, provides a 10-year roadmap for a sustainable Newcastle based on the priority areas of climate change, nature-based solutions and the circular economy.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Strategy would ensure CN continues its decades-long action and advocacy to protect and improve our environment.

"The Newcastle Environment Strategy is our definitive roadmap for achieving our progressive environmental ambitions," Cr Nelmes said.

"Through this strategy, we are sending a signal to the community that we are strongly committed to protecting and enhancing Newcastle’s natural environment today, and for future generations of Novocastrians."

Fifteen key actions have been identified to be delivered by CN or in partnership with state and federal governments, business and the community within the first four years, including renewable energy initiatives, city-wide electric vehicle charging infrastructure, connected wildlife corridors and sustainable construction materials.

CN will continue its drive towards net zero emissions with a range of activities, including the development of a vehicle, plant and equipment transition plan.

This will guide the implementation of low emissions and electric alternatives to slash the use of fossil-based liquid fuels, such as diesel and unleaded petrol, in CN cars, trucks, plant and equipment. City of Newcastle was the first Council in NSW to use 100% renewables in its operations, delivered in part through the construction of a council owned 5MW solar farm at Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

The transition plan will build on successful trials of electric vehicles within CN's fleet, as well as a recent roll-out of electric plant and equipment to help maintain the city's natural environment.

"While we've been successfully trialling the use of electric vehicles within our fleet for a number of years, we've also recently purchased around 50 pieces of electric equipment, including hedge trimmers, chainsaws, blowers, pruners, shears and an electric mower," Cr Nelmes said.

"These pieces of equipment have been fit for purpose for use by our City Greening and Natural Areas teams, as well as at Blackbutt Reserve and Summerhill Waste Management Centre, offering a range of benefits alongside important carbon emissions reductions by being quieter, lighter, faster to start and easier to maintain.

"This initiative is just one example of how City of Newcastle is continuing to invest in progressive actions to ensure we create an environmental legacy for future generations."